Eastland County Council 1927 - 1929

(Prior to Oil Belt Council)

Once the first Regional Offices were established in the early 1920's, a push was made to establish First Class Councils in Texas that would employ a full-time professional scouter.   By December 1926, there was sufficient interest in Scouting in Eastland County for Ernest Voss, Deputy Regional Boy Scout Executive, to meet with Guy Quirl in Ranger, Texas for two days to assist with the organization of a local Scout Council for that county.   The Eastland County Council, BSA, was organized in January of 1927 with W. W. Housewright as Council President and Guy N. Quirl as the Scout Executive. The Eastland County Council charter was dated April 13, 1927 and was Council No. 490.

Eastland County was in an oil boom at the time, and it was becoming advantageous to have a local Scout Council to help organize Boy Scout troops in the area, train leaders, coordinate joint activities between the troops, run a summer camp program, and maintain a supply of Scout literature and badges.  The Eastland County Council office was located in Eastland, the County seat, and served Ranger, Gorman, Cisco and Rising Star.

Guy Quirl was reared in Brown County near Zephyr, Texas, the son of pioneer parents.  He started his Scouting career as a Scoutmaster for a troop at a Dallas orphan’s home in 1922. Quirl was recruited by the Dallas Council as a professional Scouter in 1924.  For a short time, he served as the Scout Executive at Abilene, Texas. From there he went to Eastland to be Scout Executive.

The first summer camp was held in 1927 at Big Sandy in Stephens County with about eighty Scouts in attendance, mostly from Cisco and Eastland.  The camp was known as Camp Gatewood, named after Mr. Gatewood of Cleburne, who had leased the land the camp was on.   It was located some eighteen miles northwest of Cisco.  Guy N. Quril was in charge of the camp and was assisted by H. B. Tanner of Eastland, Tom Foley, Jr., and Tom Alford, of Cisco.

But the council was looking for a place that had running water, so the following year they moved the camp over to the Fritz Martin Ranch in Mason County, 16 miles from Mason, Texas on the Llano River but some 150 miles from Eastland.  Use of the land was free to the council, so they invested $500 to build a wooden mess hall.   They named it Camp Martin.

The Eastland County Council was organized in 1927 with the office in Eastland, Texas.  In the fall of 1928 Stephens County was made a part of the council and the name was changed to the Oil Belt Council.  G. N. Quirl became the Scout executive at the organization of the council and remained in this capacity until the merger in 1932.

Guy N. Quirl became the Scout Executive of the newly merged councils.  Stephens County was actually made a part of the Oil Belt Council in September of 1928.  A story in The Cisco American and Roundup on September 27, 1928, stated the following.

Eastland and Stephens Co.s' Scouts Unite

"The Eastland Boy Scouts Council has been succeeded by the Oil Belt Council, and Eastland and Stephens counties will hereafter work together for the progress of Boy Scout work.  Final action effecting the merger was taken Monday night (September 24, 1928) at a meeting of the executive committee of the council here.

"I. F. Jolly and A. L. Elliott of Breckenridge were elected to membership on the executive committee and will be assigned to chairmanships.

"An enthusiastic meeting was held.  Boy scout work in Eastland and Stephens counties was discussed and it was agreed that while much had been done, much yet remains to do."  One year later, in September 1928, Stephens County to the north of Eastland County was officially added to the Council.   Next the Oil Belt Council was organized.

Material for this page was taken from the book "The Camp Billy Gibbons Story", by Guy N. Quirl and Eldon Sehnert, April, 1989 and "Ninety Years of Service - A History of Comanche Trail Council 1910 - 1999," by Frank T. Hilton.

Last Updated: June 13, 2003
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